Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Battle of Port Jefferson, Texas

More than 700 Civil War reenactors invaded Jefferson, Texas for the weekend "Battle of Port Jefferson."
The three-day event featured a living history day on Friday, a skirmish on Austin Street and battle on Saturday, and a battle on Sunday.  The annual May event is believed to be the largest in Texas. 

We attended the events on Saturday morning and afternoon.  Our day started with a parade down Austin Street that became a heated skirmish between Federal and Confederate troops.  The fighting was intense with both sides taking "casualties."  The engagement was over before noon and we wandered over to the sutlers tents to look over their wares.  We stopped at a few of the many antique shops in Jefferson before sitting down for lunch.  Then it was more antiquing until 3:30.

The afternoon battle was held at the Tuscumbia Ranch about 5 miles out of town.  The battle began with a cannon exchange that left the pecan grove in smoke and the combatants and onlookers covered in a layer of fine dirt.  Then cavalry units from both sides charged across the field exchanging gun and rifle fire.  Finally, the Union infantry attacked.  After some initial success, the Confederate line stiffened.  Reinforcements arrived and the Confederates tried to flank the Union line.  The Federal forces regrouped and made an orderly withdrawal.  The Union forces formed a new line and halted the Confederate advance.  The Confederates continued to attack, but blistering fire from the reestablished Union defenses inflicted heavy casualties.  Finally the battle ended with both sides agreeing to a truce to remove their "dead and wounded."

No it wasn't a reenactment of a historic battle, but it sure was a lot of fun. 

Please check our site for more Battle of Port Jefferson skirmish and battle pictures.

This event is a great opportunity to experience a Civil War era battle.  Jefferson is about 3 1/2 hours from Dallas and one hour from Shreveport.  Please check out the Chamber of Commerce site for more information on this event and others in Jefferson.  I hope to see you there in May 2012.

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